Bringing France's defense effort to 3% of GDP: necessary? sufficient? sustainable?

During his last hearing as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces by the Defense and Security Commission of the National Assembly, General Lecointre, questioned by a deputy on what the armies would need to find a defensive posture comparable to that of the 60s and 70s, replied not without malice “4% of GDP, like at that time”. Beyond the touch of humor of a remarkable soldier with a more than exemplary career, General Lecointre clearly posed to the deputies the problem which underlies the efficiency and performance of our armies today, namely the 'nerve of war', the budget they...

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Should the nature of French strategic and military programming be changed?

On the occasion of the presentation to the French parliament of the revision of the Strategic Review of 2017, French parliamentarians overwhelmingly welcomed the efforts and commitments made by the various governments since the vote of the Military Programming Law 2019- 2025. As several MEPs have pointed out, this is the first time since the setting up of the programming law mechanism in 1985 that it has been respected in such a precise manner. However, many parliamentarians believe that it is now urgent to start drafting a new White Paper on National Security and Defense to take into consideration the radical changes that…

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The French Ministry of the Armed Forces publishes a revision of the 2017 Strategic Review

Upon his arrival at the Elysée, President Emmanuel Macron ordered the drafting of a Strategic Review in order to frame the objectives of the new Military Programming Law 2019-2025. While the intention was certainly the right one, the constraints that surrounded the drafting of this document, in particular compliance with the format of the armies laid down by the 2013 White Paper, as well as the budgetary framework, which is certainly growing, but already fixed, have severely limited the expected benefits of the exercise. As expected, the Strategic Review presented in the fall of 2017 proved to be extremely consensual and missed several important points, such as the return of commitment...

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The 7 challenges Defending the 2022 Presidential in France

Defense issues had been pushed into the background during the previous French presidential election in 2017. The majority of candidates had simply committed to a spending target of 2% at the end of the five-year term, and had striven to debate subjects without real foundation, such as the return to conscription, even though the soldiers themselves constantly warned about the unrealistic aspect of the proposals put forward. Fortunately, and to the surprise of many, the elected president, Emmanuel Macron, respected his commitments by enforcing a Military Programming Law (LPM) allowing the Armies, if not to rebuild their capacities, throughout…

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Faced with General Lecointre, French deputies are worried about the format of the Armies

The hearings of the chiefs of staff of the French armies by the commissions of the National Assembly and the Senate are often the occasion to glean certain information on the programs in progress. But during the hearing of the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, General François Lecointre, by the Defense Committee of the National Assembly, within the framework of the Finance Bill 2021, these were above all the concerns of several deputies, coming from different political factions, who marked this session. Indeed, 4 of the 13 deputies present asked the French Chief of Staff questions relating to the format of the armies in the current evolving geostrategic framework. So the MP...

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Why is the French Air Force seriously under-capable?

The forthcoming signature of the contract for the sale of 18 Rafale aircraft to Greece is undeniably excellent news for the French defense industry and for advancing the French conception of a Europe capable of defending itself. On the other hand, this news will be perceived very differently by the French Air and Space Force which will be deprived, for a time at least, of 12 of its Rafale planes for the benefit of the Greek air forces, while it is already below its capacity needs given the operational pressure to which it has had to respond in recent years. And the situation could well get worse with…

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Without naming it, are the French Chiefs of Staff pleading for a new White Paper?

In a speech given to naval student officers at the Naval Academy of Lanveoc-Poulmic, near Brest, the new Chief of Staff of the National Navy, Admiral Pierre Vandier, warned future officers that they were a generation that is likely to experience sea fire, in other words, high-intensity naval combat unlike any seen since the Falklands War in 1982. The CEMM statement is part of a series of speeches by the various chiefs of staff of the French armies which aim to alert both public opinion and the political authorities to the profound change that is taking place...

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Can we still rely on nuclear deterrence?

On November 5, 1956, a Franco-British expeditionary force landed in Egypt to regain control of the Suez Canal recently nationalized by President Gamal Abdel Nasser, in a military operation organized jointly with Israel, which had seized the Egyptian Sinai a few days earlier. early. Despite the military successes of this coalition, the Franco-British troops withdrew after only a few days, when the Soviet Union threatened Paris and London with nuclear strikes. Even if NATO declared at the time that such a Soviet action would lead to a response of the same nature, Washington also pressured its two European allies to obtain their withdrawal, by carrying out an attack...

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President E. Macron lays the foundations for a renewed French defense strategy

The speech given this morning by French President Emmanuel Macron to the War School trainees was awaited by the National Defense community, but also European. And the least we can say is that these expectations were justified. Indeed, in a speech lasting just over an hour of incredible density, the French President drew up a realistic but worrying assessment of the future of international security, in Europe as in the world, and traced the outline of the French position, whether in terms of deterrence, defense of Europe, intervention in foreign theaters, and the role of…

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The format of the French Armies is too weak according to the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces

The format of the French armies results, today, from two master documents, namely the White Paper of 2013, ordered by President Hollande after his election and published in 2014, and the Strategic Review of 2017, ordered after the election of President Macron, and published a few months later. However, the first was written before the major geostrategic upheavals that marked the current decade (Crimea, Donbass, China Sea, Daesh, etc.), and the second was instructed to respect the framework defined by this same White Paper. In fact, and for 7 years now, the format of the French armies has been evolving on the basis of a…

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